At the beginning of the year I wrote a post all about my goals and plans for 2018. I came up with 18 things that I wanted to do or achieve this year, and one of them was to have afternoon tea. A lot of people who read the post seemed amazed that I had got to the age of 39 and never had afternoon tea. What is perhaps even more surprising is that my mum had managed to get to 75 and never had afternoon tea either! So we decided it was time we did something about it!
The weekend after Mother’s Day (because I’m always one to avoid overly busy places) we booked to have afternoon tea at The Clifton Arms in Lytham St Annes. I mentioned in my 18 for 2018 post that I wanted to have my first afternoon tea somewhere a bit posh, not just a garden centre or a cafe, and The Clifton Arms seemed to fit the bill. It’s right on the seafront in Lytham and although I’ve driven past it loads of times I’ve never actually been in.
We had a table reserved in the bar area, we had comfy armchairs to sit in and it was next to a lovely open fire, which may usually seem unnecessary at the start of spring but it actually snowed on the day we went for our afternoon tea so it was definitely welcome!
After being seated we were quickly brought a large pot of tea. I always drink my tea milky so I was pleased we were given plenty of milk too – it drives me mad when they only give you a tiny jug of milk in cafes! Our three tier afternoon tea soon followed.
We started with a selection of finger sandwiches – there were egg mayonnaise (my favourite!), ham and mustard, cream cheese and cucumber, and finally smoked salmon. I don’t really like smoked salmon so my mum had both of those, and I had both the cream cheese ones instead. The sandwiches were all tasty though, and the bread was very fresh and soft.
Next up were the scones (rhymes with gone where we come from) – my mum had jam and cream on hers but I prefer just butter, which I did have to ask for. The scones were still slightly warm which was lovely (and made it slightly easier to spread my fresh out of the fridge butter).
After the scones came the bit we’d really come for – the cakes! If I’m totally honest I wasn’t blown away by the selection but they were all very pleasant. We had a small piece of lemon drizzle cake, a caramel shortbread slice, a strawberry macaron, and some sort of creamy berry pudding.
I’m not normally a big fan of macarons (I don’t like almonds) but this one actually had quite a strong strawberry taste and was surprisingly delicious. The lemon drizzle cake was nice too, I could just have done with a bit more of it. The caramel slice was nice (I’m not sure what purpose the random bit of gold leaf served though!) but could have done with a bit more caramel. And lastly the creamy berry thing (posset maybe?) was OK too, although the berries on top were very sharp.
So all in all we had a lovely afternoon tea – it was slightly let down for me by the calibre of the cakes, but as you can see from the picture above it didn’t stop me polishing it all off! Most of all it was lovely just to spend some time with my mum with out two little boys competing for our attention!
And now I’ve had my ‘posh’ afternoon tea I’m on a mission to try some of the others I’ve seen on offer around our local area. There are two tea rooms that I really want to try. The first is The Quirky Tea Room in St Annes where they serve their afternoon teas on miniature picnic benches, and who have just started doing an amazing looking Unicorn Afternoon tea! And the other is The Black Sheep Tea Room in Lytham which has only recently opened. I’ve heard great things about it though and their cakes look amazing! I’ll be sure to report back if/ when I try them.
If, unlike me, you are an afternoon tea connoisseur, where is your favourite place to have it? I’d love to get some more suggestions of places we could try, especially in the north west.